Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is there such a thing as good grief?

Tomorrow morning I'm going my third funeral. I don't know if three is considered high when it comes to funerals, but I feel lucky to have only experienced three. When looking back at my funeral history, I wonder if it's telling to compare the funerals I chose to attend versus those I didn't go to.

The first funeral I could ever bring myself to attend was for Casey Wheeless my senior year in high school. Casey was the first boy I ever kissed and the only boy that a girl has wanted to kick my ass over. I still remember the sobs, his mother and the closed casket.

Years passed and my next memorial service was for the daughter of a colleague at the PR firm where I worked. She was three and ran out into the street. The service was held in a tent at her favorite playground. It was the first snow of the season that day, and I couldn't stop sobbing.

Number three is tomorrow.

I did not attend my father's funeral when I was 12. It was hard enough for my mom to get me to go to the hospital to say a final goodbye. Stubborn...that's me. I also didn't attend the funeral for my great grandmother. I think with her I was spared because I was so young.

At first glance, I'm sure you could argue that I'm uncomfortable dealing with the death of those I love (as opposed to friends and acquaintances I have cared deeply for). However, I would counter that with the fact that I was not super close to my great grandmother and had been estranged from my father. Or, you could also argue that I have had time to mature and learn to deal with death. All I know is that I hope my dealings with it continue to be limited.

4 comments:

  1. I've only been to two and am extremely grateful for that.

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  2. I haven't been to that many either, but they can be good for closure.

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  3. Perhaps mom thought I was too young, and wouldn't remember going to our great grandma's funeral, but I do. I went to Sara's father's funeral. I don't care for death, as immature as it may sound I don't like being grounded in reality, and death is the most real thing I can imagine experiencing. I remember Casey, he was in my freshman homeroom. I didn't know you were that close. I'm glad you're coming home.

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  4. I've always been very upfront about not wanting to attend close the funerals of those who are really close to me.

    I tell my mother all the time 'if someone in the immediate family dies...don't think I'm awful...'.

    That said, I've been to dozens of extended family ones. My grandfather has a bazillion cousins and they're older....I grew up at wakes.

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